MGM Resorts International has allied itself with fellow American casino operator Wynn Resorts Limited in its opposition to an upcoming state-wide ballot initiative that could see Massachusetts legalize a second slots-only gambling facility.
As reported yesterday, developer Eugene McCain is seeking permission to build a slots-only facility in the north Boston suburb of Revere pending the successful outcome of a November ballot referendum, which is known as Question One. June saw the entrepreneur win the right to have the issue placed before voters in two month’s time while he has reportedly also collected enough signatures to hold a local vote that is scheduled for October 18.
Legislation passed in 2011 legalized three non-aboriginal resort casinos for Massachusetts while additionally giving Penn National Gaming Incorporated the right to open its slots-only Plainridge Park Casino in the town of Plainville, which is located near the border with Rhode Island and some 38 miles southwest of Boston. Regarding the trio of new casinos, the MGM Springfield from MGM Resorts International is expected to open in the autumn of 2018 before being joined less than a year later by Wynn Resorts Limited’s $2.1 billion Wynn Boston Harbor development.
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International is spending $950 million on its MGM Springfield casino and the President and Chief Operating Officer for the under-construction venue, Mike Mathis, recently told New England Public Radio that he is against the passage of Question One.
“We think the  legislation set the ground rules and we think it needs to be respected,” Mathis told New England Public Radio during a tour of the Springfield site. “Geographically, that’s not as much a concern for us here is western Massachusetts but, you know, we think that it’s a really good piece of legislation and you shouldn’t tinker with it.”
When completed, the MGM Springfield is expected to offer 3,000 slots alongside 75 gaming tables and will lie approximately 84 miles from the Plainridge Park Casino and some 94 miles from Wynn Boston Harbor while its closest competitor at 69 miles is to be the giant Mohegan Sun casino in the neighboring state of Connecticut.